Tenth of December

Christian Lorentzen writes:

A father is in despair about his daughter’s unhappiness. All Lilly’s friends at school are richer than she is, and one lives in a mansion, with a pet horse, a llama, a luxurious treehouse and an antique merry-go-round. Her own family’s backyard is a mess, and her father knows it. Her birthday request is more than he can afford; his three credit cards are nearly maxed out. She’s so embarrassed by all this she begs not to be thrown a birthday party. Then he buys a scratch card and wins \$10,000. He has the backyard landscaped, buys Lilly fancy gifts, and throws her a surprise party. As a finishing touch, he splurges on the latest trend: renting four women from Laos, Moldova, Somalia and the Philippines to stand on the lawn as decorations connected by a ‘microline’ strung through their skulls. These Semplica Girls make Lilly’s little sister, Eva, feel so guilty that she liberates them in the middle of the night. Their departure leaves their father on the hook for \$8600 in ‘replacement debit’ to the landscape company, and the children subject to felony charges.

(LRB 7 February 2013)

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